The legendary “Pump.” That amazing feeling in your muscles as blood rushes in and tells you its growing. Muscle pump workouts are the key to growing new muscle.
I’ll reveal the secrets to how you do it in a moment.
We are going to pump you up
First let’s set the stage. Arnold Schwarzenegger first popularized the “Pump” back in the 1970’s by saying it was the greatest feeling you could have in a gym (and comparing it to orgasm).
Later Hanz & Franz on Saturday Night Live would parody Arnold with their “We are going to pump you up!” catchphrase and skits.
So the idea of the Pump has been around for some time. Bodybuilders have sworn by it for decades as a sign that hypertrophy (muscle building) is taking place.
A couple of years ago, some intriguing initial research was published in the Strength and Conditioning Journal that was co-authored by Brad Schoenfeld, Ph.D, C.S.C.S. He is a well-known fitness expert and owner of the website Lookgreatnaked.com.
The research studied 64 people, both men and women over a 16 week period. Basically, it found that resistance training does indeed cause a “pump” that is tied to hypertrophy, or the muscle building process.
The blood flowing to the muscle being worked is bringing oxygen and nutrients to help repair the microscopic damage that the training has caused. It is also flushing outÂ waste products in lactic acid and carbon dioxide.
The Secret: Muscle Pump Workouts
Subjects did 3 sets of each exercise with 60 – 90 seconds of reset between sets. They used a combination of weights, cables and machines.
What equipment you use is not really important, as long as you are creating resistance that brings your muscles to failure in that 8 – 12 rep range. Resistance Bands are just as good as barbells.
Isolation exercises, like bicep curls, are generally more effective than compound movements like squats at generating the pump.
Check out this post for a sample workout: Simple Workouts you can do at home. I’ve structured these workouts so that each day, you keep a fairly intense focus on specific target muscle groups.
That approach runs contrary to many of the popular fitness schemes out there today. But I do it this way for one purpose: to focus on exhausting the target muscle groups and getting to a Pump. We want to really focus on those specific muscles and feel that pump.
Give it a shot. It will pump you up!